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DENVER – Chipotle says it will spend the next seven years on a company-wide initiative to improve the living conditions and treatment of chickens it uses for meat.
The Denver-based restaurant chain said it’s been working with Compassion in World Farming USA and The Humane Society of the United States to address growing concerns from the public over how chickens are raised and processed.
By 2024, Chipotle aims to transition to using chickens that are bred for better health outcomes, provide more space for chickens by limiting how many birds can live in a given space, improve overall living conditions by providing better housing that encourages natural behaviors, and slaughter chickens in a more controlled, multi-step system.
Chipotle said all of its suppliers and farmers will be required to adhere to the new standards and the company will utilize third party auditors to make sure everyone in the supply chain is in compliance.
Chipotle purchases about 140 million pounds of chicken every year and The Humane Society of the United States praised the company’s efforts to improve animal welfare.
“This is one more step forward for Chipotle, and one giant leap for chickens,” said Senior Food Policy Director Matthew Prescott.
The company said it plans to issue annual progress updates as it works to implement the new chicken standards.